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26 March 2008 @ 03:45 pm
Maybe Someday This Will Stop  
Like when Spring Break ends.

By which I mean, more movie reviews!

Only two this time.  eltea, Richelle, and I indulged in some cinematic sightseeing again.  We obviously had to introduce Richelle to the wonders of Donnie Darko, about which my conclusions are even more awe of the Power of Jake, even more love for Drew Barrymore, and a rather better understanding of what the hell went on. Which is not to say that it's such a confusing movie that you should skip it; on the contrary, it's one of those where you see more every time you watch, and it's just so layered and intellectually complex that it requires a bit of work.  It's way worth it.  F'sho.

We also saw Pan's Labyrinth and Secondhand Lions.  I think I'm the only person who saw two movies I hadn't encountered before; eltea and Richelle got one each. :O

ANYWAYS.  No spoilers; just reactions.

Pan's Labyrinth:

First things first, "labyrinth" is a really difficult word to spell.  I'm always like, "WAIT, where does that Y go...?!"

Ahem.

The best part of this movie was watching it and knowing that a friend of ours went to it thinking that, due to the title, the genre, and the age of the main character, it was a children's movie.  This is NOT a movie for children.

I was consistently startled by just how brutal the movie was.  The imagined world was vivid and extraordinary, but it was largely more haunting than whimsical.  Probably everyone has seen the Pale Man.  My GOD.



And that's one of the most not-disturbing images of him you'll find, probably.  Judging by the Google Image results, he's become something of an icon for the movie, and rightly so.

This was a beautiful movie, and an excellently-executed one.  One of the aspects of it that was most interesting to me was that it rather shamelessly took a lot of familiar tropes (horror movie stuff, mostly; the usual don't-go-into-the-baseme-- WHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU?! syndrome and things like that), but they didn't feel worn-out.  They fit within the premise and within the film itself, and it worked.

The faun, though... I know he's supposed to be a good guy, but he just came off as a pedophile, and we spent a lot of time wailing in horror over lines that were probably written to be innocent but... didn't... sound like it.  Er.



HE'S CREEPY, OKAY??

Really, though, what I took away from this movie... It's remarkably... heavy.  Most films, there'll be really tough parts, but they're interspersed with lighter moments.  In this movie, Ofelia moves between a wretched real world in which her "Schindler's List"-worthy step-father racks up the body count (graphically -- no, I mean GRAPHICALLY) and an eerie imaginary world in which she faces a vast variety of dangers.



Seriously, look at that scumbag.  I only saw the middle third-or-so of "Schindler's List" in my AP European History class last year, but he really reminds me of Ralph Fienne's shockingly evil Nazi dude.  A lot.  Which goes back to the whole borrowing-and-integration thing, I think -- which worked very well for this movie.

The faint of heart and of stomach need not apply, but if you're on the fence, you might also consider the fact that I have NEVER howled at the screen so much as I did during the Pale Man scene.  I was yelling.  And I haven't watched parts of a movie through my fingers in a long time.

Secondhand Lions:

After "Pan's Labyrinth," we needed something that wasn't going to weigh on us for hours afterward.  Badly.

That I don't have quite as much to say about this movie doesn't really reflect on anything other than the fact that it, unlike its predecessor, didn't scar me for life (in the best possible way, of course).

There was a lot of "The Princess Bride" to this sucker, a bit of "Indiana Jones," and a lot of just... I have no idea, but it was wonderful.  This is the home of the whimsy and the laughs that were hollowly absent in "Pan's Labyrinth"( which is of course part of the point of PL).  It was a very gentle movie, though it had its share of depth and of quiet, unassuming inspirational bits, and it was extremely clever.  Michael Caine and Robert Duvall were fantastic, the former with the trademark wink-wink-nudge-nudge sparkle in his eye, the latter as one of those slightly-secretive characters that appear in most movies like this one but never get tiring.  Really, everything about this film was just endearing -- there were doses of reality, but there were also doses of utter un-reality, and the balance was perfect.  It was magical, fantastical, and bright, but it never really pretended that the world is anything other than what it is.



Outstanding performances and clever scripting.  Also, wonderful settings and fight choreography.

Yes; fight choreography.

And Haley Joel Osment is not only very talented, but also very adorable.  LOOKIT THOSE WITTLE BWUE EYES.  In addition, his voice was constantly breaking in this movie, which was worth a good "Aww!" or eighteen.



"Secondhand Lions" is one of those rare movies that is very soothing and soft, but with enough mystery and excitement to keep you sitting up quite straight.  And the themes are nothing short of lovely.  If you need a PG movie after all the gloom and destruction that is all my other reviewed movies (I did!!), definitely give this one a try.  You won't be disappointed. :D

Tomorrow, or sometime in the near future, I'll probably be posting more of our old friend Vincent Duval, because we love him, and because Richelle needs to discover his highly-touted origins. :)

Well, highly touted by... me. >:D

I think I need to start going to bed sometimes now instead of indulging in movie marathons until obscene hours of the morning; I have a headache. x)
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